Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) is participating in the Italian MINEX 2019 mine countermeasure exercise.
The exercise, organised by the Italian Navy, will see NATO minehunters involved in specialist training activity for almost two weeks with Italian and Spanish minehunters, operating in stretches of sea in front of eastern and southern Sicily.
NATO say that the exercise is aimed at practicing command staff knowledge on mine warfare procedures in order to enhance operational capability and interoperability.
“The Italian Mine Exercise offers and opportunity to enhance training of participant commands, staff and assets by conducting mine countermeasures operation in a realistic asymmetric threat scenario. The minehunters are equipped with high-tech systems used to support free access to ports by keeping the sea lanes open and clear for safe navigation.”
“ITA-MINEX provides another option of training under realistic condition alongside our allies,” said the Commander of SNMCMG2, Commander Martin Schwarz.
“Exercises like this give us the opportunity to deepen our local knowledge and to enhance interoperability and mutual understanding – two of the backbones of the alliance.”
SNMCMG2 currently consists of flagship German Navy support vessel Werra, Spanish minehunter ESPS Tajo, Turkish minehunter TCG Ayvalik and French minehunter FS Orion.